Lost freedoms and media lies


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


 

Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


 

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
 
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

The panic over the Wuhan virus is clearly doing irreparable harm to our freedoms. And worse, the loss of those freedoms is being celebrated and supported by the press, the very people who should be acting to protect them, for their own sake if not ours.

Consider for example this article, which documents how four of the ten rights in the Bill of Rights have been tossed out the window during the government imposed lockdowns over the Wuhan flu. It also notes that a more basic right, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, has been cancelled as well.

While this right is not listed in the Bill of Rights and instead appears in the Declaration of Independence, it covers all of our rights in a general sense and should be considered under attack. I have heard from friends who have been stopped at the border of their state and turned back by police; people with out-of-state plates turned away from grocery stores over the border that have supplies they need and can’t get in their own state; and people whose livelihoods are being destroyed by government edicts with no end date in sight. [emphasis mine]

As the author also notes, “anyone who has studied human history knows the ‘temporary’ loss of human rights is rarely temporary.”

The worst part of this article however is the incompleteness of the list of civil rights abuses. Consider these for example:

This list was compiled in only about five minutes of web searching. The number of similar stories in the past month is horrifying. Not only has the idea of protecting our rights gone out the window, there does not seem to be much outrage by the society at large over the abandonment of those rights.

Meanwhile, our corrupt and entirely partisan mainstream liberal press has revealed its willingness, in the name of destroying these rights (and Trump), to lie and lie and lie, and then lie again, all in an effort to justify the regaining of power by them and their leftist friends in halls of government.

This last story provides a dozen examples where various news outlets published blatant and easily proven falsehoods, all designed to attack Trump as well as block and hinder any effort by him to limit the epidemic’s harm. All are egregious, but maybe the stupidest and most dishonest was the effort by these mainstream news sources to claim Trump was racist for calling the Wuhan virus the Wuhan virus, even though they had all been doing so themselves for more than a month.

Sadly the article’s list of media lies is really only the tip of the iceberg. I could spend all day itemizing more examples, all hateful and clearly focused solely on hurting Trump, even if it causes tens of thousands of more Americans to die, and destroys the lives of millions more.

As historian Hannah Arendt said in 1974:

The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed?

If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie—a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days—but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind.

It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.

The irony here is that while we still have a free press by law, it has chosen to be complicit in the lies being put forth by the left, making it the tyrant’s hand-servant and a willing participant in the destruction of freedom.

Share

26 comments

  • commodude

    Robert, you left out possibly the most blatant overreach of this whole mess, Governor Cuomo issuing an executive order to “borrow” ventilators from upstate hospitals for “redistribution” to downstate hospitals who need them.

    Naked abuse of power and violation of constitutional rights.

    https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2020/04/03/cuomo-plans-to-use-national-guard-to-seize-ventilators-from-upstate-facilities-1271376

    “I apologize for the hardship to those institutions — ultimately there is no hardship, if you don’t get the ventilator back, I give you my personal word I will pay you for the ventilator”

    Your word, Mr. Governor, isn’t worth the dirt on the bottom of my shoe.

  • commodude: Hey, what I should have done is asked my readers to post in this thread more examples of governmental abuse of power, such as the example you cite. There are so many I can’t keep up with them.

  • commodude

    Had a brief exchange with one of my representatives about that executive order. The gist of his reply was “What do you want me to do?”

    Even a symbolic fight is worth it. Evidently he didn’t appreciate being called a bag of hot air.

    These times call for leadership, and it’s sorely lacking in our political class.

  • John

    According to my overlord governor, it’s up to $5,000 and 1 year in prison if I leave quarantine and drive 2 hrs to a neighboring state to help my very elderly father.

    They’re going to make it so people have nothing left to lose.

  • commodude

    John, I’d find a lawyer and dare them to try and collect. I’m sure you’d have a well funded defense account.

  • David Telford

    I would point out that the press abandoned their role in society some time ago. But Bob you already did that, pointing out their complicity. It is probably more than a curiosity why the press should side with a particular faction so completely. If they aligned at all like most Americans, they’d be all over the place on matters of policy, and we’d all have some representation in the public discourse.

  • MDN

    I share all of your concerns but lamenting this situation is not productive. The question is how can we FIX this going forward?

    Bob, you are on the JBS regularly, and he is engaged with all manner of politicians who I expect share our anxiety over this situation. So, rather than compiling a list of the malfeasance we are witnessing, I suggest that instead we compile some ideas these politicians might pursue to address situations like these in the future. And you can share these with them through JB for all of us.

    Here’s mine:

    1. We must acknowledge that there are exceptional circumstances that may require exceptional action, because there are as we have seen. I do not like the lock down, but I must admit with a virus that appears to spread so virulently from asymptomatic carriers, and is truly novel with no Herd Immunity in our population, these initial lock down actions have probably been necessary. In a crisis you’re always working with partial information, and in the beginning you need to err to the safe side because something like this could have a 10% mortality (or higher, a la a bio weapon for instance). But we can’t let the government get too comfortable wielding such power because Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely (i.e. you get communist China).

    2. So, to start we should clearly state that Exceptional Circumstances are necessary in a crisis and define some parameters for what that looks like.

    3. Next we must state that we are a nation founded on freedom, so while we agree such crisis situations may occur, they also MUST have statutory boundaries and limitations.

    4. Thus, Congress should craft Federal legislation (so it can pre-empt State wishes that may try and supercede them) legalizing the imposition of measures such as we are experiencing, but only when the President of the United States has declared a national emergency meeting the defined criteria, and this only for a term not to exceed 90 days (the same as the war powers act enabling Presidential use of force without Congressional authorization).

    5. It shall be possible to extend the term of these measures for an additional 90 days, but this will require agreement of the Congress by a simple majority.

    6. And, should it prove necessary to extend them beyond 180 days, that will require an additional vote in the Congress, this time requiring a simple majority in the House but a 60 seat super-majority in the Senate, and such extensions must also be renewed every 90 days.

    Our leadership needs the power to act when it is appropriate, but they also need to be held accountable to the people, and this I believe is a rational way to define and bound the problem.

    Stuff OCCASIONALLY happens, but we don’t give up our rights PERMANENTLY when they do.

  • wodun

    The DNC media aren’t lying, they are engaged in carefully crafting deceits. There is a significant difference.

  • commodude

    MDN, any legislative allowance for these egregious intrusions on the rights of free men would be abused, as we have seen with any “common sense” legislation one might reference.

    This cannot stand.

  • commodude

    Wodun, agreed, these aren’t lies, this is a maskirovka, a carefully coordinated misinformation campaign with a purpose.

  • Chris

    So COVID-19 is a minor blip in the larger threat pool. It may kill a few million in the next year or so. The real threat is Anthropological Climate Change. Climate Change is going to wipe out civilization. Here we MUST curtail ALL rights as individuals to save the group (s) as a whole.

    This is what we’re looking at. This is what is being trained upon the populace.

    On a more local note I am deeply disappointed in the PA state police for the citation given to the young woman for driving alone. Really. If the PSP is going to become the Governor’s puppets I will lose a quantum level of respect for them.

  • wayne

    Chris-
    Good stuff.

    pivoting…..

    “Keep The Change”
    Hank Jr.
    2011
    https://youtu.be/cDvBmWOf8m0
    3:31

  • wayne

    Loki’s Speech On Freedom
    https://youtu.be/_3CZExnn8MI
    1:33

  • Chris: Always provide a link to the story. Without it the story becomes mere rumor and will be discounted. Five minutes of websearching found it:

    York County woman faces $200 ticket from state police for violating Gov. Wolf’s stay-at-home order

    “He asked me if I was aware of the stay-at-home act,” she said. She responded: “I am aware of it but I didn’t know it pertained to just driving.”

    The trooper told her he wasn’t going to fine her for the window tint or taillight “but you should be at home during this act that’s in place right now and just get the taillight fixed,” Shaffer said. Once she got home, she and her father Neil Shaffer said they discovered the taillight was working fine.

    Shaffer said she was alone in her car and had no intention of getting out of it.

    So, the policeman lied to her about the tail light. And note that she was alone in her car, with no intention of getting out, thereby maintaining perfectly reasonable social distancing.

    This citation and police action is nothing more than the act of some jackbooted thugs who like intimidating innocent women for their jollies. And you can quote me.

  • Max

    If you’re caught out in public, they will arrest you and take you to prison to prevent you from getting the virus.

    Thousands of convicted criminals are being released from prison, to prevent them from getting the virus…

    I am confused.

    For Easter, Prehaps we should sacrifice a lamb, put the blood over the door to prevent the CDC angel of death Michael Ryan from taking our children.

    “Last week, Dr. Michael Ryan, a leader at the World Health Organization, announced that in response to the spread of this virus, authorities may have to enter people’s homes and remove family members, presumably by force.”
    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-there-has-to-be-a-more-balanced-course-on-coronavirus-than-the-one-were-on-now

    How’s that for a lost freedom?
    The reason they will take your children isn’t specified exactly, the Wu-flu is an excuse.
    In China, being a muslim Wieber or a follower of a peaceful religion is enough to get you into a three star concentration camp, free food, education, then tissue typed, and your body organs donated for the greater good of the CCP.
    Race, religion, ethnic skin color will definitely be a factor for losing your children because we’ve been down this road of “good intentions” before.
    Seen antifa around lately? I wonder if they work for the CDC and Bill Gates now (IHME).

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_for_Health_Metrics_and_Evaluation

    “The 2010 Global Burden of Disease report was criticized for its lack of transparency of methods and data as well as its use of complex statistical methods to fill in data gaps when reliable statistics were unavailable. Thomas Bollyky, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, called for more transparency. The report was also criticized for its use of verbal autopsies because many diseases have similar symptoms, leading to potential mistakes.[31][49]”

    That quote sounds familiar…

    The entire country shut down on the recommendations of Bill Gates foundation which exaggerated everything. All the bad statistics were supplied by this source. The experts at Washington DC and governors chose to believe it. (Puts a new twist on the “Bill” in the bill of rights) even the CDC and the WHO (China) follows his lead. I wonder if his partner warren Buffett was able to take advantage of this man made crisis. (Wu-flu is 98% non-lethal)
    I’m sure he has stock in Bill Gates immunization company. Which will soon have a gov. contract to force everyone to receive his futuristic whizbang new and improved vaccinations with the added bonus of interesting side effects.
    Unfortunately they will not work.
    You are all familiar with the excuse that you get when you get sick after a flu shot…

    “this shot was for last year’s flu, it has mutated again, so the right shot won’t be available until next year”

    Just like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown to kick it.

    Remember when the aids virus was 100% lethal? Did we round up in quarantine everybody who had the virus? Is there a vaccine available? What is different about then and now…

    Writing in The Wall Street Journal Friday, Kissinger declared “that it is now an imperative that the world’s leaders, even as they deal with the raging pandemic, begin to make the “transition to the post-coronavirus order.”

    “Failure to do so could set the world on fire.”

    https://cnsnews.com/commentary/patrick-j-buchanan/kissingers-call-new-world-order

    That pretty much sums it up, forget about “making America great again”, the “world is on fire” and we must do something about it now!!!
    It took breaking all of the eggs to make this omelette…

    We are witnessing the birth of the “New World order”

    The coming dark age is here…

  • Chris

    Mr Z – apologies on the story link.
    Mea culpa

  • Andrew-Winter

    And this is even more damning. It would appear that this really is a Deep State Power Grab. It has just been revealed here,
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/birx-says-government-is-classifying-all-deaths-of-patients-with-coronavirus-as-covid-19-deaths-regardless-of-cause.
    that the official US death to COVID-19 numbers are being counted differently than the rest of the world is counting them.

    And guess what? The numbers are all inflated because of the difference in counting. Thus, there is NO COMMON ground to compare what the US official numbers mean in relation to anyone else’s. The Inflated numbers change the perception of severity to make things look way worse than they really are, and so we have MORE “reasons” (read excuses) to give up our liberty to the thieves in Washington.

    And WE thought CHINA was a bad actor. I wonder what our numbers would look like if we were counting the deaths the way everyone else is?

    This is the most disturbing story I have seen in this mess. It’s a headline story that will get no comment from our Government.

  • James Street

    It turns out the government is counting people who die “with” the coronavirus as having died “from” the coronavirus.

    In yesterday’s White House Coronavirus Task Force Briefing when a reporter asked about the death statistics being skewed, Dr. Birx said “if someone dies with the COVID-19 we are counting that as a COVID-19 death.”

    Dr. Fauci enthusiastically added “Now I can’t imagine if someone comes in with coronavirus, goes to an ICU and they have an underlying heart condition and they die they’re gonna say ’cause of death heart attack’. I cannot see that that happening so I don’t think it’s gonna be a problem.”

    A 3 minute video of the part of the briefing:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsef4JyZNTo&t=6s

  • Cotour

    There is going to have to be a distinction, maybe an asterix designation, made between those with obvious / documented underlying conditions, and those with no known underlying conditions, to properly understand this virus and its effects. (?)

    If you are healthy, and how exactly do you determine that, or if you have an identified underlying health condition and it is established that you have the virus and you succumbed to it, what killed you?

    The virus, or your underlying condition exacerbated by the virus?

    Everything being equal the virus will be determined to be the mitigating component and it is essentially what killed you, no?

  • Cotour

    I think going forward we must identify several of the main issues related to this world wide event that effected so thoroughly so many in so many economies and nations. And this is one of the main ones:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/04/coronavirus-pandemic-world-health-organization-failed/?utm_source=recirc-desktop&utm_medium=homepage&utm_campaign=river&utm_content=featured-content-trending&utm_term=first

    Chyna, and its growing influence in the world is going to have to be dealt with in a much more serious manner, one that may indicate “Other” means. And electing what ever Democrat that the Democrat leadership will put up to run in the next presidential election is not ever going to be the manner in which this issue is dealt with.

    The Chynese are the natural recipients of the Globalist / One World type model. Lets be optimistic that this virus event has awakened the people of America specifically to this potential and has worked to further kill its growth.

  • sippin_bourbon

    In how many states are they arresting people for violation of the “Stay at home” order.
    Even the gal in PA only got a citation, which, I bet she gets thrown out in court.

    By the way, the article refers to this as a violation of the 4th Amdt (search and seizure). He is wrong. The vehicle had a violation, and that was cause for the traffic stop. That would be true without the virus. Cops do it thousands of times a day every day. Once they stop you they are free to ask questions. The girl was free to not answer. She answered anyway, apparently. The article did not indicate the car was searched. She was not searched.

    People here (at least three states) are all free to drive around. Parks are open for pedestrians, at social distancing norms.

    She was out for a drive, not hurting anyone. A good judge should throw it out. I will wait and see.

    My state has specifically said they do not stop and check people. The neighboring states (I am close to the state border) are the same. I have freedom of movement.

    By the way, people are praying. No one is telling the they cannot. They are meeting virtually (seen several such service online so far, from a variety of denominations). So no ones right to the free practice of their religion is threatened. The only part of the First Amendment that has been truly suppressed is Assembly.

    It is an important right. I will not lecture on why, as I think most hear appreciate that already.

    Some of the other arguments are laughable. Define a speedy trial. At some point, they will figure out how to have trials with social distancing. They are just hoping it will blow over first. I think I can understand that the courts need a minute to figure things out.

    Where I am those that are arrested are still getting a video hearing to set bonds, or detain. So that right is not being violated here. Many police departments are cutting back on arrests, anyway. So I am not sure what the author is basing his statements about detainment.

    To me the author of this article is trying to create a different panic.

    And before anyone jumps, no I am not saying we just sit back and let them run over civil liberties. We must be on guard. But 1. Rights are not absolute and come with responsibly. 2. This is not a normal situation. But as soon as that situation is over, the very instant, we need to make sure nothing permanent is done. Fight tooth and nail.

  • sippin_bourbon

    MDN

    I read your suggestions. What you suggest is a back door method to completely override the Federal System quote:”congress should craft Federal legislation (so it can pre-empt State wishes that may try and supersede them”). One party I can think of would LOVE that.

    Additionally, allowing the Executive branch to declare an emergency, with emergency powers, and keep them after 90 days with a simply majority agreement of the congress is weak. One party could (hypothetically) take control and keep it, in the name of a perceived emergency.

    (BTW, the war powers act has never truly been tested in court.)

    Also, Not sure if you remember, but for a period of almost a year and half the 44th President had a majority in the House, and a 60 member “filibuster proof” majority in the Senate. (your 180 day hurdle would have been met again, by one party)

    A thought experiment:
    One party has members that have openly stated we need to declare a state of emergency because of Climate Change. The legislation you just proposed would allow them to do that, and keep it indefinitely, had that kind of legislation been in place in 2009. (if not indefinitely, long enough to do major damage)

    Do you think that the party in charge would not have used it to prevent meetings? The Tea Party movement would have been banned, or at least, minimized. Agree or disagree with the politics of that movement, but the 2010 election that flipped the house and provided a check on the administration would have never happened.

    The same time period included a major collapse of the auto industry, where the government became a stakeholder in the industry (Government Motors). The possibilities of a declared emergency open a lot of doors there.

    This is already a long post, but I am just trying to inspire deeper thoughts on this idea.
    If there is going to be any lasting legislation, it must be far stricter than what you propose.

  • commodude

    https://babylonbee.com/news/constitution-dies-of-coronavirus

    “Between both political parties constantly trampling all over the Bill of Rights and stretching and distorting the Constitution for political gain whenever it’s convenient, I just don’t know how much more abuse it could have taken,” said one doctor as he pronounced the Constitution’s time of death: 20:20, ironically.

  • wayne

    Good news comrades….

    “We Work Again”
    Works Project Administration
    1937
    https://youtu.be/QSF6SMYZKbo
    15:18

  • Chris: No apology necessary. I am only trying to encourage best practice. You will note that I make it a policy to try to source everything I write. It not only makes what I write more creditable, but I repeatedly find that what I remember is not quite right, and when I go back to the source as I write I find I have to revise to make things more accurate.

  • Chris

    No, Mr Z you’re correct. I’m an engineer – I know better.

    Unlike the medical folks (and other fields) who have the MD, PhD credits and such and such positions that all accept their word as “truth”; I’m an engineer. Engineers say: “ that’s a great achievement, PhD, or Chief Engineer, or CTO…. Now show me your data and calcs.” And if the titled person is also an engineer they would love to have the design review or the data reduction review to show off their wares and hope any mistake is caught before they move further.
    Non-engineers see this as questioning authority – engineers see it as verifying data and designs AND questioning authority.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *